Sneezes, Snakes & Life's Big Questions

I did something I haven’t done in a very long time.

I went to the zoo with two four-year olds. I was helping my daughter babysit. Our primary mission was to try to catch a glimpse of the elusive baby koala, Owen. The process was not an easy one. I'd forgotten how complicated a simple outing could be with small children. Car seat (x2). Lunch boxes (x2). Backpacks (2). Raincoats, band aides (just in case), and dollars for the carousel. When did the price change from quarters to dollars?

I had also forgotten how much fun it was to interact with four year olds who tell you everything. “My daddy works out, that’s why he has 100 muscles,” and “My hair is short because my sister was playing with the scissors, and I got in the way.” 

I had forgotten, too, that little legs tire easily, and piggyback rides are the easiest way to transport small children who ask, “Let me hold you!”  I had forgotten how sweet it felt to hold a little hand in mine, and how wide a smile could get when riding a “flying tiger” on the carousel. 

Hundreds of questions kept me thinking. “Why is that snake sticking his tongue out at me?”  “Can fish hold their breath?”  “Do alligators get tired of eating fish all the time?”  I felt like a Jeopardy contestant working her way to the jackpot after I fielded category after category of potential brain stumpers.

I had forgotten how good it felt to answer black and white questions that had only one answer. The questions are harder now that I have young adults. I can’t fake any of the answers, because the stakes are higher than any Jeopardy game.

If you have young children, savor every moment. Even when they sneeze on you. Hug them before they get too cool for such nonsense. And encourage them to ask questions. Someday those simple questions will pave the way for harder ones. 

If you're the parent of older children or young adults, savor every moment. Even if they bring you to your knees in prayer. Especially if they bring you to your feet in praise. And don’t fear the questions. Claim the promise of James 1:5:  “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  

God bless you as you parent your children in faith!    


Application Questions:

What aspects of life with small children tend to make you most weary?

Which are the most fun?

What questions have your children (younger or older) asked you lately that made you really stop and think?

Application Step for This Week:

Commit to listen -- really listen the next time your children ask questions. Ask a few of your own and see what type of conversation develops.

Prayer of Commitment:

“Lord, in Daniel 9, he talks about how You inclined your ear to hear his prayer. Help me, Lord, to listen like You do. Help me be quick to hear and slow to speak, so that my children will find in me a sympathetic and interested listener. As I take the time to listen, help them to open up their hearts and minds to me, especially my older children. Give me wisdom to know how to answer their questions with godly, insightful wisdom that can only come from spending time with You. Thank you, Lord that You always take time to listen to me.” 

This post is an excerpt from Lori's devotional book for homeschooling moms, Joy in the Journey.

With a devotional for every week of the school year, JITJ has application questions, an action step, and a prayer. It's suitable for your own devotional reading or for use by a support group for meeting ideas.

Don't start your new year without it!

For more information and to read what other homeschooling moms are saying about Joy in the Journey, click here. 

To order a copy of Joy in the Journey, click here.


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  1. This is such a precious post!! You made me think back and yet look ahead to grandchildren. Thank you for the reminder to ask for wisdom. I need that daily as I am sure other moms do whether their children are young or their youngest is 18 in a few days like mine.

    Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home this week.

  2. Great example of the good stuff in your book, Lori. I love your line about enjoying questions that have black and white answers. We don't enjoy the simple stages of life as much as we should! : )

  3. Oh, I needed this post today. I am so weary with my four-year-old. She has an attitude and a will all her own that drives me off the deep end some days. Thank you and God bless.

  4. This is beautiful. A true depiction of motherhood. :)l It's been years since I've had 4 year olds, but I do remember the weariness. But oh how I would long for a day in time with them at that age again. I think I'd have a little more peace about me. Thanks.

  5. How sweet! I so remember when mine were that little and full of questions! I savored every moment and they still flew by too fast! :)

  6. Ah... love this post, too!! yes, we MUST savor it!!